My local paper ran a news story about a woman here whose garden has
been certified as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife
Federation. I was shocked to see all the hype, because this is such a
When we lived in South Carolina (mistake, not my fault) I heard about
NWF certification and I investigated it. What I found was that it was
ridiculously easy to be "certified" online, and that the only issue was
So when I saw this article I decided to do my own investigation before
writing the letter to the editor that was bubbling up inside of me. I
Googled "National Wildlife Federation" and within SEVEN MINUTES my yard
was a certified NWF habitat! They presented me with checklists in
order to "qualify," and the instructions were to check at least 2 of
this category, or at least one of that category, etc. Once that was
done (and my $15.00 charge had been processed) I was certified. If I'd
wanted a sign for my front yard it would have cost me another $25.00.
Now I know the NWF has good intentions, but I also remember what the
road to hell is paved with. This is so clearly just a money-generating
scheme that it makes me ill. If I'd wanted to spend another $15 I
could have had the city dump certified as a "national wildlife refuge",
or the parking lot of the local WalMart. There is no verification
process, and anyone can just get online and certify anything. Hey, how
about the county jail? They have a lot of "wildlife."
I am a Master Gardener and I garden completely organically. I eat
organic meat, but I draw the line at tofu and other new age phenomena.
I care very much about this planet, and I do what I can do for it. In
some ways this "certification" program is insidiously evil in a very
strange way, because the NWF has realized what I and people like myself
care passionately about and they have found a way to make money from
our concerns without giving anything back.
So I wrote that letter to the editor, and we'll see what happens with